Learn more about the all new Linx 8900.
System uptime is the average length of time a piece of equipment runs between interventions are required to keep it operating smoothly. When comparing system uptime when assessing coding equipment, it is important to look at several factors including:
To understand system uptime better, let’s take a closer look at each of these key areas:
Consumable replenishment is the most common and necessary interaction with any given piece of coding equipment. The amount of time a system can go between consumable replenishment, like adding more ink to an inkjet coder, replacing ribbon stock in a thermal transfer printer, or replacing labeling stock on a labeler largely depends on the capacity of the individual piece of coding equipment. There are additional factors to consider when assessing consumable replenishment.
For inkjet coders, it is important to understand how long a printer can run after the bottle or cartridge of ink has run out of fluids. Does the system provide an advanced notice warning giving a countdown to when the coder will be truly empty? Does it provide enough of a warning that allows for fluids to be replenished at ideal production times like before and after shift changes? Can the fluids be replaced while the system is actively coding?
For thermal transfer printers, ribbon capacity as well as total ribbon usage are important to maximizing the length of time between replacing ribbon stock. For ribbon capacity, look at the maximum size of the ribbon roll for your chosen ribbon type. To maximize ribbon usage, look for thermal transfer printers that offer ribbon saving features that utilize as much surface area of the ribbon before advancing it for ribbon waste collection.
Although replenish consumables is unavoidable for the most common types of coding equipment, the very act of replacing or replenishing a bottle of ink or solvent, a roll of ribbon, or a roll of label stock can be made easier and less time consuming for system operators.
Inkjet coders tend to be the easiest type of coding equipment when it comes to consumable replenishment since most inkjet coders can keep running while being refilled. Look for inkjet coders that offer mess free, mistake free refill options like needle and septum systems that prevent leakage and dripping when swapping fluid bottles. This is ideal compared to inkjet coders that require fluid bottles to be manually poured into the system. Another factor to consider is how many touches or actions are required to complete the fluid refill process. Look for systems that provide one-touch fluid refill options as well as variations in shapes and sizes between ink and solvent bottles to simplify the process as much as possible while preventing the wrong fluids from going in the wrong compartments.
Due to the nature of thermal transfer printing, the printer will become temporarily unavailable for coding while ribbon stock needs to be replaced. Look for thermal transfer printers that have an easy-to-web design as well as easy to remove and replace ribbon cassettes. Investing in an additional ribbon cassette that can be loaded and ready to go when ribbon is low minimizes downtime on thermal transfer printers as much as possible.
Like thermal transfer printers, automated labelers also become temporarily available for use when label stock needs to be replaced. Look for an automated labeling system that has an easy label webbing design to make it easy to unload spent stock and load a fresh roll. Manufacturers with high production commands benefit from having alternate labeling machines available. When one machine signals that its label stock is low, the other starts applying labels so that the low system can be replaced. This virtually eliminates downtime with automated labelers.
Although consumable replenishment is required more frequently than maintenance, preventive maintenance procedures take more time to complete and often require the coding equipment to be completely unavailable for printing while being serviced. Not all coding systems are created equal. Service intervals are usually stated in the amount of system hours that can pass before preventive maintenance is required. Things like ink type, manufacturing environment, and overall wear and tear caused by the application can impact recommended system intervals.
For inkjet coders, look for systems that can run as long as a year or more before maintenance is required. Better yet, look for systems that provide advanced warnings about upcoming maintenance so that you can schedule interventions around your production schedule. Another factor to consider is how easy or complicated it is to perform maintenance. Look for systems that have self-contained service modules that can be easily swapped out without the need for a service engineer. Systems that have screen-guided instructions for service interventions tend to be the easiest to use.
For thermal transfer printers, take a look at preventive maintenance requirements that are recommended by the manufacturer. How many parts require replacement? How long does the manufacturer state it will take to perform maintenance? How easy is it to access parts that need to be replaced? These are all important questions to ask when evaluating thermal transfer printers.
When it comes to automated labeling systems, all-electric systems allow you to replace wear parts while relying on pre-programmed settings to get the labeler operating as quickly as possible. Pneumatically operated labeling systems require extensive adjustments after replacing wear parts, making maintenance interventions anything but fast. Also look for labeling systems that offer screen-guided instructions for quick and simple service interventions. Another advantage of all-electric labeling systems over pneumatic is that electric options allow for a gentler application of the label to the substrate. This cuts down on overall wear and tear, allowing the system to go for longer between maintenance intervals.
If you have any questions about how to calculate the uptime of your current coding equipment compared to new coding equipment technology, we are here to help. Contact a Diagraph product identification expert today by calling 1.800.722.1125 or contacting us through our website.
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As a key component in our Diagraph Solution Center model, the Diagraph Uptime Advantage focuses on delivering more uptime through our products with minimal intervention requirements. We believe that our coding and labeling solutions should be the least of your worries. This is why our equipment solutions are built to withstand the toughest of manufacturing environments and consistently produce high quality marks – print after print after print.
Our product solution portfolio is built around the principles of reliability and ease of use:
Whether you need entry-level thermal inkjet, high speed continuous inkjet, or high resolution, large format printing, we have a wide variety of inkjet coding solutions that are designed to be low maintenance, user friendly, and offer superior longevity.
Because the most common cause of issues with pressure sensitive automated labeling technology is linked back to pneumatic plant air, we have fully embraced an all-electric automated labeling platform that is designed with servo-controlled label dispensing technology and smart sensing controls to achieve precise label placement at high speeds. You get all of the performance without any of the hassle.
Diagraph’s thermal transfer printing solutions offer not only the highest resolution mark on web- and foil-based product packaging, but also the widest print area range, offering ideal solutions for printing simple product codes all the way to complex messages like ingredient panels and ingredient lists.
Using CO2 and fiber lasers, we can offer an eco-friendly and consumable free option to create permanent traceability codes on packaged goods. Laser coding is an excellent low maintenance option for manufacturers that are implementing anti-counterfeit measures or need a discrete code.
At Diagraph, we will help you formulate the ideal coding and labeling solution for your unique manufacturing environment, code durability requirements, and staff capabilities. This is just one of the many ways we partner with customers to deliver tangible value throughout a long-term relationship. How much time and money can you save by taking a new approach to your coding and labeling operations? Let’s find out together.
Learn more about the other three components of the Diagraph Solution Center:
ST. LOUIS, (Sept. 1, 2015) – Diagraph recently launched the Linx 8900 – a next generation CIJ (continuous ink jet) printer featuring an error-free user interface and smart productivity reporting functionality. The printer is designed to maximize efficiencies during production, delivering valuable cost and time savings.
Capable of printing both human and machine-readable codes, the Linx 8900 incorporates a wealth of new features and reporting functions that speed up day-to-day operation and maintenance. Production monitoring is made easy with a unique screen saver mode that provides manufacturers with a simple visual status check, indicating whether throughput is on target or not.
This is part of a range of reporting features that provide at-a-glance real-time data, which also includes downtime information and batch counts. The Linx 8900 self-monitoring productivity reports can be easily transferred to a USB for archival and analysis purposes. The smart productivity reporting functionality allows operators and plant managers to identify patterns or reasons for any line stoppages, allowing for the quick implementation of changes, solutions or countermeasures to improve efficiency and productivity.
In addition to the productivity reporting functionality, the new system’s self-service module is designed for engineer-free service and minimized downtime, allowing operators to change filters and ink in one quick step with the help of the on-screen Self-Service Wizard to guide operators through the process. The easy and quick self-service functionality allows maintenance managers to schedule service times around production schedules, causing no need to take the printer off-line.
These smart reporting features and minimized service and maintenance requirements combine with Linx’s industry-leading sealed printhead to allow the Linx 8900 to perform reliably in even the harshest factory conditions. Linx’s proven autoflush system thoroughly cleans the printhead every time the printer is shut down, ensuring a fast and clean start-up when it is next required. The automated cleaning feature enables the Linx 8900 to be cleaned and ready for immediate use even after three months out of operation, making it ideal for periods of extended shutdowns.
The Linx 8900 is designed to be simple to use and maintain, minimize operator errors and identify opportunities to improve production line efficiency in real-time. For more information, call 800-722-1125.
About Diagraph, An ITW Company
Diagraph, An ITW Company is a leading manufacturer and distributor of marking, coding and labeling systems and supplies, and has been in the product identification industry for over 120 years. Diagraph’s products include all-electric printer applicator labeling systems, LINX continuous ink jet and laser coders, large character ink jet printing systems and thermal transfer overprinting systems.
About Linx Printing Technologies Ltd
Linx Printing Technologies is a leading global supplier of continuous ink jet (CIJ) printers, case coders, laser coders, thermal transfer printers and thermal inkjet printers. Its printers and coders are used across many different industries where product identification codes, batch numbers, dates and barcodes are required.
All Linx products are designed with low cost of ownership in mind and are distinguished by reliability, robustness and ease of use. Linx products code and mark millions of items every day, ranging from bottles, packages and cans of consumer goods to pharmaceutical products, cabling, electrical components and car parts.
When it comes to product identification equipment, Diagraph likes to keep intervention requirements to a minimum so that customers can simply focus on producing their products. We do this in several ways including:
It is worthwhile to spend a little more time breaking down the importance of these three areas of focus:
At Diagraph, we design our coding and labeling equipment to run cleaner for longer between required interventions as well as to withstand wear and tear to get more useful life out of our equipment. This results in greater equipment uptime and a stronger return on investment over the life of Diagraph equipment.
We accomplish this by focusing on minimizing the number of steps required for routine interventions as well as extending the length of time that can pass between those interventions. Product capabilities like automatic printhead cleanings help keep inkjet coders running with optimal print quality for longer.
Examining consumable replenishment practices and offering opportunities to centralize ink refills or provide a quick turn label stock webbing approach makes accomplishing required interventions quicker and hassle-free.
Finally, quality materials and thoughtful engineering make a difference when it comes to the longevity of your equipment. At Diagraph, we focus on impact resistant designs – whether it be an inkjet coder or a labeler – to ensure long-term product reliability.
Other than making sure your product coding equipment is properly matched to your application and manufacturing environment, one of the most essential steps we can take to ensure your success is to make sure your line operators and maintenance staff know how to properly handle and maintain your equipment.
Because many of our manufacturing customers deal with worker turnover challenges on a regular basis, we recommend routine training touchpoints to keep workers knowledgeable and good stewards of your equipment investment. At Diagraph, we offer refresher-level training opportunities with each scheduled service visit from a Diagraph field service engineer and high-level, more in-depth training that can take place on location or at the Diagraph training facility in St. Charles, Missouri.
Our most successful customers work with us in partnership to regularly evaluate and maintain their coding and labeling equipment. At Diagraph, we team up with our customers to perform routine equipment assessments, provide regularly scheduled service support, and develop long-term equipment upgrade plans.
Staying ahead of wear-caused failures and properly maintaining your equipment keeps it running for longer thus reducing the need for unplanned interventions. As with all things electro-mechanical, there comes a time when equipment performance starts to impact production throughputs. We help you navigate the useful life of your equipment so that you know when it is best to repair and maintain a system or to upgrade to take advantage of performance and feature enhancements.
By working closely together, our account teams can help develop a multi-year plan that provides measurable cost saving opportunities to our customers thanks to efficiency gains in system and consumable usage optimization. These strategic audits also help customers strategically sequence system upgrades of their older technologies in order to avoid the sticker shock that comes along with most of your product identification equipment failing at the same time. Our goal is to always eliminate surprises as much as possible.
Call us today at 800.722.1125 to learn more about how Diagraph partners with manufacturers to achieve product identification and packaging compliance success.
Color Contrasting Inkjet Coder Runs Cleaner for Longer
Linx 8900 Plus continuous inkjet lineup overcomes longstanding soft pigmented inkjet challenges
ST. LOUIS, (Nov. 9, 2017) – Diagraph is pleased to announce the launch of the Linx 8900 Plus Series – an advanced range of color contrasting inkjet technology that provides the highest levels of printer reliability and ease of use. Enhancements in printhead design and pigment particle dispersion in the Linx 8900 Series prevent common clogging issues associated with inkjet systems when using color soft pigment based inks.
Providing up to 6 weeks between printhead cleanings and up to 6,000 hours or 12 months between preventive maintenance intervals, the Linx 8900 Plus Series printers are among the most robust soft pigmented inkjet printers in the industry. The printers feature fully sealed, stainless steel printheads with integrated auto-flush technology that keep the printheads running cleaner for longer and print quality consistently high. Preventive maintenance work on the printer can be accomplished using unskilled labor, involving the change of self-service module and filter guided by instructions displayed directly on the printer screen.
The Linx 8900 Plus Series keeps pigment particles dispersed in the ink system using several printer functions that provide constant, gentle agitation. The printers feature an enhanced mix cycle that is triggered at jet start up and can self-adjust for idle periods and extended shutdowns. This approach to particle dispersion eliminates the use of mechanical stirrers and the need to keep the printer left powered on – minimizing the number of wearable parts and the overall cost of operating the printer.
Achieving print speeds of more than 1,600 feet per minute for a single line, seven dot high print message, the Linx 8900 Plus Series printers offer some of the fastest speeds in the industry for the most common print message requirements. In addition to industry-leading print speeds, the Plus Series can accommodate a wide range of print formats including data matrix and QR codes printed up to 20mm high, with a considerable throw distance of 20mm and up to 45mm when requiring a “tall” print message style. Ink colors available with the printer include yellow, blue and black.
Contact a Diagraph Product Identification Expert by calling 1.800.722.1125 to learn more about how the Linx 8900 Plus Series inkjet printers can take your color contrast coding to the next level.